Top positive review
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Fine Gift Book for Christians in Search of Meaningful Work!
on November 29, 2001
Before commenting on this book, let me note that versions of this have appeared in past editions of What Color Is Your Parachute? So, if you have a copy of that book, check it out to see if an appendix on setting your life mission exists there. Then, you can evaluate the book's content for yourself.
In this gift edition, the author has added many woodcuts and blank pages to what is an essay with elaborations about finding your mission in life.
In the essay, Mr. Bolles answers a question posed to him about the diagram in The Three Boxes of Life in terms of what a personal mission looks like.
Mr. Bolles explains that to him mission is a religious concept that cannot be discussed without considering an individual's relationship to God. With apologies and respect to other religions, Mr. Bolles points out that he is a Christian and can only effectively describe a mission from the Christian perspective. Those who are not religious, or not Christians, will probably not find this approach to a mission to be as valuable as a more secular approach.
Mr. Bolles also focuses his thinking more on a job-oriented mission than most people would consider. If you want something broader, you might find this approach a little too narrow. Mr. Bolles points out that there are many processes for arriving at a mission. He is merely describing the one he knows best, not proclaiming it to be the best.
This book will be most helpful to someone who is a Christian, and is spiritually troubled because of discomfort with her or his job or life role. If you know someone like that, you may have found an ideal Christmas or birthday present.
Mr. Bolles describes your mission has having three components, which you need to develop sequentially.
The first is simply being conscious of God. The second is to do good works. Both of these mission components are shared by all Christians.
The third component is unique to you. Combine your talent and what you love to do in order to serve God's purpose.
To pursue these three components, you are warned that you will have to unlearn some common ideas. For example, you should feel gratitude towards God, rather than pride in yourself. When choices come up, be sure to consider the alternatives and pick the one that will add to love and goodness. Your mission will not be dictated by God, rather you will use your free will to select one with Him "where your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet."
The book ends with a brief list of suggested reading, and lots of ads for Mr. Bolles's other books. I found the ads to be in appropriate for such a book, and graded it down one star accordingly.
Overall, I found the book to be simple, moving, and consoling. I think most Christians would feel greater access to Divine guidance through the experience of reading and reflecting on these simple, but powerful, suggestions. Although the book will not take you a long time to read, it may take you a lifetime to live.
Where does your work lack deep gladness in meeting the world's deep hunger